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Police Forum Police Head Mod: Skidmark
Questions & info about the Motor Vehicle Act. Mature discussion only.

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Old 10-23-2010, 11:54 AM   #1
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DriveSmartBC - Demanding a Second Opinion

Drivers who blow a warn or a fail under BC's new Immediate Roadside Prohibition (IRP) program may be concerned that the Approved Screening Device (ASD) used to test their breath was not operating properly when their sample of breath was tested. If this is the case, a second sample may be requested using a different ASD. This right may carry it's own danger if your reading was a warn.

Following the initial sampling of breath that produced the warn or fail analysis, the officer will read the demand requiring you to surrender your driver's license pursuant to section 215.41 of the Motor Vehicle Act. That demand advises a driver that they have the right to immediately request a second test using a different ASD. If the reading was a warn, the driver will also be told that if they choose to request that second test, regardless of the outcome, the result of that second test will apply.

The accuracy of a typical ASD is +/- 5 mg% at 100 mg%. This means that a driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 50 mg% (.05) may blow what the first ASD sees as between 50 and 55 mg% and show a warn result. The second ASD may decide that the sample is between 45 and 50 mg% and indicate a pass. This would mean that the driver's second sample prevails and an IRP is not proceeded with. Similarly, the same situation might turn a fail into a warn.

However, the reverse is possible. The driver with a BAC of 100 mg% may register as 95 to 100 mg% on the first ASD and show as a warn. Demanding the second test could result in an analysis of between 100 and 105 mg% which would be a fail. By law, there is no returning to the warn analysis, the IRP provisions for the fail must be applied.

Clearly a driver must make a carefully considered decision about demanding a second test when the first analysis is a warn!

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Old 10-23-2010, 03:19 PM   #2
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I love how easy it is for someone to lose their car and licence based on a potentially faulty ASD.
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Old 10-23-2010, 03:26 PM   #3
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not exactly faulty - it's the tolerance of the device. I'd imagine the ASD, like most devices, their prices would go up exponentially as the tolerance goes down.
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Old 10-23-2010, 03:47 PM   #4
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not exactly faulty - it's the tolerance of the device. I'd imagine the ASD, like most devices, their prices would go up exponentially as the tolerance goes down.
You know what I mean...

The laws set hard and fast boundaries as to what is and isn't an acceptable BAC. To have machines that say "well your BAC is somewhere in the neighborhood of pass/warn/fail/etc..." doesn't match the explicit nature of the law.
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Old 10-23-2010, 04:29 PM   #5
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I love how easy it is for someone to lose their car and licence based on a potentially faulty ASD.
That's why they're calibrated regularly according to the manufacturer's standards. Contrary to what you might think, the police don't want to use a faulty device any more than you want it used on you.
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Old 10-23-2010, 04:48 PM   #6
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That's why they're calibrated regularly according to the manufacturer's standards.
Standards which allow for a deviation of +/- 5 mg% at 100 mg%.

Part of the reason we have these new laws is it was too easy for drunks to challenge the conviction in court using tactics such as questioning the accuracy of the ASD.

Now we have Mr. de Jong making it harder for those convicted to fight those convictions by implementing much harsher and immediate penalties. To hell with the accuracy of the devices, just crack down on those who may or may not be legally drunk.
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Old 10-23-2010, 11:22 PM   #7
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I love how easy it is for someone to lose their car and licence based on a potentially faulty ASD.
I love how easy it is for someone to lose their car after they were stupid enough to drink and still drive... despite all the media attention on the issue!
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Old 10-23-2010, 11:45 PM   #8
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I love how easy it is for someone to lose their car after they were stupid enough to drink and still drive... despite all the media attention on the issue!
I never said I supported drinking and driving, however for someone with a legally permitted BAC to have their car and licence taken away is unacceptable.

If you don't want any drinking and driving, set the limit to 0. Pretty simple.
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Old 10-23-2010, 11:47 PM   #9
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Part of the reason we have these new laws is it was too easy for drunks to challenge the conviction in court using tactics such as questioning the accuracy of the ASD.
Part of the reason we have the new laws was because Drunk Drivers weren't taken off the road quick enough because traffic courts were clogged up with idiots such as this one.
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Old 10-23-2010, 11:50 PM   #10
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Part of the reason we have the new laws was because Drunk Drivers weren't taken off the road quick enough
You already forgot that 24 hour suspensions were being issued for those who blew a warn?

I also suppose you feel that someone blowing a .06 will remain drunk for the three days their car will be impounded for. (I can't think of another reason to impound for three days.. it doesn't take that long to sober up.)
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Old 10-23-2010, 11:54 PM   #11
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I love how easy it is for someone to lose their car and licence based on a potentially faulty ASD.
Oh give it a rest already.
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Old 10-23-2010, 11:56 PM   #12
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Oh give it a rest already.
By all means, you're free to bend over and give your rights away, just don't take me down with you
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Old 10-24-2010, 01:17 AM   #13
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You already forgot that 24 hour suspensions were being issued for those who blew a warn?

I also suppose you feel that someone blowing a .06 will remain drunk for the three days their car will be impounded for. (I can't think of another reason to impound for three days.. it doesn't take that long to sober up.)
I meant more for the criminal level of BAC - 0.08%.

The way the police officer measures the BAC hasn't changed with the new laws, so why are you making such a fuss now?
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Old 10-24-2010, 03:53 AM   #14
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any way to get one of these BAC test kits so we can gauge how much we can drink?? i'm scared to even drink a glass of wine dining out which feels so ridiculous.
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Old 10-24-2010, 10:18 AM   #15
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By all means, you're free to bend over and give your rights away, just don't take me down with you
I fully support your right to make yourself look like a hippie ass by repeatedly spouting uninformed knee-jerk anti-establishment whinges all over internet forums.

However, if you were truly concerned about your "rights", you'd be doing something more productive with these opinions than just blathering them in here, where they will make NO difference at all to the state of the world.
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Old 10-24-2010, 10:30 AM   #16
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I meant more for the criminal level of BAC - 0.08%.

The way the police officer measures the BAC hasn't changed with the new laws, so why are you making such a fuss now?
Because this is the first time I have questioned the accuracy of the ASD.
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Old 10-25-2010, 09:03 AM   #17
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Oh give it a rest already.
Oh STFU already yourself.

Spouting your uninformed knee-jerk conservative idealistic defenses is just as ridiculous. The fact that you don't tolerate other peoples questioning and inspection of the law and of the reasons/rationale behind the law is pretty bigoted.

I have yet to see you provide an actual rebuttal for the questions people ask, instead of simply attacking the person, or the semantics of their question/argument.

Sticking your fingers in your ear and going "Because it's the law, because it's the law, because it's the law, You're a dumbass", doesn't count.
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Old 10-25-2010, 10:02 AM   #18
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any way to get one of these BAC test kits so we can gauge how much we can drink?? i'm scared to even drink a glass of wine dining out which feels so ridiculous.
The cheap ones you can buy aren't all that accurate, I wouldn't trust them.
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Old 10-26-2010, 09:37 AM   #19
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I have yet to see you provide an actual rebuttal for the questions people ask,
It's called "reading". Try it sometime.
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Old 10-26-2010, 02:29 PM   #20
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It's called "reading". Try it sometime.
I had a quick read through and didn't find your answer to this:

Why base a conviction (immediate 3 day impound) base on a potentially inaccurate reading from an ASD?

The law is pretty clear in it's specification of intoxicated. It doesn't say "If the driver is somewhere in the vicinity of .05, impound his car". It says "if the driver has a BAC of .05, impound the car"

So why use a reading from an ASD that essentially says "The driver's BAC is somewhere in the vicinity of .05" to impound the car?

It's like saying "well you were close to the double yellow line, I'll ticket you for crossing it anyway"
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Old 10-26-2010, 03:23 PM   #21
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how else are you supposed to do it? ASD seems to have a maximum tolerance of +/- 0.005 when measure BAC of 0.1. that's a tolerance of 5%. So a reading of BAC at 0.05 can essentially actually be 0.0475 - 0.0525. Would you propose that Police only impound the car if the BAC reading is 0.0526 or higher?
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Old 10-26-2010, 03:55 PM   #22
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I had a quick read through and didn't find your answer to this:

Why base a conviction (immediate 3 day impound) base on a potentially inaccurate reading from an ASD?
The accuracy of the ASD has been discussed many times in many different threads, by officers who have training on using and calibrating it.

What would you like me to add?
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Old 10-26-2010, 03:59 PM   #23
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The accuracy of the ASD has been discussed many times in many different threads, by officers who have training on using and calibrating it.

What would you like me to add?
Including Skidmark in the first post of this thread.

The bottom line is that people who should pass can fail based solely on the accuracy of the ASD.
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Old 10-26-2010, 04:01 PM   #24
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how else are you supposed to do it? ASD seems to have a maximum tolerance of +/- 0.005 when measure BAC of 0.1. that's a tolerance of 5%. So a reading of BAC at 0.05 can essentially actually be 0.0475 - 0.0525. Would you propose that Police only impound the car if the BAC reading is 0.0526 or higher?
Why don't you go blow a .475, lose your car for three days and get back to me
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Old 10-26-2010, 04:03 PM   #25
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Including Skidmark in the first post of this thread.

The bottom line is that people who should pass can fail based solely on the accuracy of the ASD.
Er, actually... the people who should pass could get a warn, or people who are in the warn range could fail.

The possibility of that happening is extremely low, given the margin of error.

You have no problem finding potential faults... how about some potential solutions? Would you rather just do away with ASDs and drunk driving laws altogether? Just let people go out and get blitzed and cruise the streets at will?
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